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2014 - Second Quarter

Table of Contents
July 1, 2014

Trials This Quarter

Medical Malpractice Trials

Merez v. Tuality Healthcare, Multnomah County Case No. 1212-16439

Plaintiff was taken to the Emergency Room at Tuality Hospital after suffering an apparent stroke.  While there he came under the care of a neurologist.  Two days later plaintiff was released from the hospital without an MRA or CTA test done to determine the cause of the stroke.   No testing was done to rule out serious life threatening conditions such as as basilar artery stenosis.  After being home for 48 hours plaintiff had another, more significant, stroke. He was rushed back to the hospital and to defendant’s care.  This time a MRA was performed and significant stenosis of the basilar artery was discovered.  Plaintiff was discharged from the hospital two days later and told there was nothing that could be done – he would die.  Plaintiff was not referred to a stroke specialist or advised about interventional/endovascular therapy.  Plaintiff then suffered a third stroke and became partially paralyzed, and totally and permanently disabled.  Plaintiff sought $3,432,873 in economic damages for past and future medical bills, life care and past and future wage losses.  Plaintiff also sought $2,500,000.00 in non-economic damages.  His wife sought $1,500,000 in non-economic damages for loss of consortium. Verdict - $4,745,469.

Lawrence v. Soldevilla and Northwest Neurosurgical Associates, Multnomah County Case No. 1210-13427

Plaintiff alleged that she had back surgery by Defendant Soldevilla who was employed by Defendant Northwest Neurosurgical Associates.  She alleged that Defendant operated at the L4-5 level and not the indicated L3-4 level. She also alleged that the surgery was inadequately performed and resulted in permanent nerve damage resulting in an impaired ability to use her left foot and ankle. Defendants denied liability. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Rife v. McAfee, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05481

Plaintiff was hit in a rear-end style car crash.  Defendant admitted liability but disputed causation and damages.  Plaintiff claimed injuries including: L4-L5 disc protrusion requiring two surgeries; L5-S1 disc injury requiring fusion surgery and multiple epidural injections, facet injections and nerve ablations and a C5-C6 annular tear. Plaintiff sought non-economic damages of $1,300,000.00.  She claimed economic damages of $805,967.39 for past and future medical expenses, and past and future lost wages. Total Verdict - $628,218.22.

Brady v. Keller, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05018

Plaintiff and defendant were involved in an intersection car crash. Plaintiff alleged that defendant ran a stop sign. Plaintiff alleged that she fractured her T-8 vertebra and required kyphoplasty surgery to repair. Defendant denied liability and argued that the fracture was not caused by the crash. Verdict - $121,000.

Schilling v. Baldinger, Multnomah County Case No. 1303-03173

Rear-end car accident case.  Plaintiff alleged that she had a prior back surgery that was aggravated in the crash.  She also alleged a spinal disc injury and strains of her back and neck.  Plaintiff sought $33,449.92 in past medical expenses, $14,488.16 in lost income, $2,578.22 in out of pocket expenses and $100,000.00 in non-economic damages.  The verdict included $10,013.00 in past medical expenses, $1,025.07 in lost income, $612.60 in out of pocket expenses, and $16,000.00 in non-economic damages. Verdict – $27,650.67.

Riverman v. Burns, Multnomah County Case No. 1305- 07129

Plaintiff Riverman was hit from behind by Defendant Burns while stopped for traffic on I-205. Riverman alleged injury to her neck and upper back. She sought $150,000. Defendant Burns contested the nature and extent of Riverman’s damages. Verdict – Plaintiff – $13,564.00.

Ramos v. McIntyre, Multnomah County Case No. 1210-12913

Plaintiff was hit by Defendant in a rear-end style car crash. Plaintiff alleged soft tissue injuries to her chest, neck and back and associated headaches.  The defense denied every aspect of Plaintiff’s case. This was a defense appeal from an arbitration award for plaintiff. Verdict – $949.00.

Wilson v. Hickman, Multnomah County Case No. 1306-08212

Plaintiff and Defendant were in a car accident at the intersection of Columbia Boulevard and Clarendon Street.  Plaintiff claimed that she turned left onto Columbia from Clarendon and was in the center turn lane waiting to merge into westbound traffic when she was struck by Defendant who hit his brakes and had quickly changed lanes into the turn lane. Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck, back and shoulder.  Defendant denied liability. This was a defense appeal from an arbitration award for the Plaintiff. Defense Verdict.

Starmer v. Lutz, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-07603

This was a  de novo trial after plaintiff appealed  from an arbitration award.  Plaintiff sought $49,999.99 in damages resulting from a motor vehicle crash.  Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent causing the crash and his damages.  The jury found that the defendant was not negligent. Defense Verdict

Howell v. Pham, Multnomah County Case No. 1109-12747

Plaintiff was a letter carrier who was pulling away from a curb after having delivered mail to a mailbox.  In front of her was a parked boat and trailer along the right curb line that obstructed her view. As she inched around the boat she was struck by defendant who was driving a vehicle in the opposite direction.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant was driving on the left side of the road. Plaintiff suffered injury including foot fractures, knee injury requiring a total knee replacement and likely future knee replacement, a shoulder separation, meniscus tear and contusions. She sought 2 million dollars including economic damages of $500,000. Defendant alleged that plaintiff failed to yield the right of way and pulled out from behind the boat into the roadway causing the crash. Defense Verdict.

Sciglimpaglia v. Bell, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05065

Due to the implementation of E-court we have no information about the facts of this case other than it was an MVA case where plaintiff sought $869,500.00. The jury found defendant and plaintiff both negligent but assigned the percentages: Plaintiff – 51%, Defendant – 49%. Defense Verdict.

Motorcycle Trials

Reusser v. Rushing and Multnomah County, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-06328

Plaintiff was on a motorcycle travelling on SE 39th when defendant turned left across his lane of travel causing a crash. Plaintiff flew off the motorcycle, over the hood of the car and landed on the street. He broke ribs, dislocated his shoulder, strained his back and wrist, worsened pre-existing hip arthritis and suffered road rash and contusions all over his body. The car’s driver was a Multnomah County employee and was operating the car on the job. Plaintiff claimed damages including: medical bills of $28,233.09,  wage losses of $7,239.96, pension losses due to being out of work of $11, 856.00 and non-economic damages of $500,000. Defendant’s answer asserted comparative fault for plaintiff driving too fast, not keeping a proper lookout and failing to properly control his motorcycle. Verdict - $234,649.89.

Bicycle Trials

Jacobs v. Oregon Pacific Railroad, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-06356

Plaintiff was riding her bicycle on the Springwater Corridor Trail when she attempted to cross railroad tracks maintained by defendant. Her tire got caught in the gap next to the track causing her to fall. She suffered a concussion and multiple scrapes and bruises. Plaintiff claimed that defendant failed to warn of the dangers present and failed to properly maintain the crossing. Defendant claimed that plaintiff was also negligent for failing to keep a proper lookout and maintain control of her bicycle. The jury found both parties to be negligent and apportioned fault 80% to defendant and 20% to plaintiff. Verdict – $3,296.00.

Morrison v. Griesar, Multnomah County Case No.1304-04746

Plaintiff was on a bicycle travelling on NE Alberta on the far right side of the roadway when she approached a car parked on the street. The defendant was in the car and opened the door.  Plaintiff collided with the door causing scarring and nerve damage in her leg. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to keep a proper lookout before opening the door and violated Oregon law (ORS 811.490) in opening the door without first making sure it was clear to do so.  Plaintiff sought $550,000.   Defendant denied liability and alleged that plaintiff was travelling too fast, too close to parked cars and not keeping a proper lookout. Defense Verdict.

Premises Liability Trials

Vielmetti v. Washburn, Multnomah County Case No. 1211-15102

Plaintiff slipped and fell while visiting friends at their houseboat.  During visit plaintiff and others went, with permission, onto neighboring houseboat and used their hot tub.  Plaintiff fell between the houseboat and floating dock when getting out of the hot-tub. Defense Verdict.

UIM Trials

Vargas v. 21st Century Pacific Insurance Company, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-06628

Plaintiff was driving on Cornell road when an under insured driver turned across her lane causing a car accident.   Plaintiff alleged that she suffered a disc herniation at L5-S1 with irritation of the nerve root.  After recovering $25,000 policy limits from the at-fault driver, she brought this action for UIM benefits.  The defense disputed the significance of the injury. Verdict – $80,000.00.

Assault Trials

Cash v. Robinson, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05216

Plaintiff Cash attended a concert at which defendant’s band was performing.  Defendant Sarkin was the tour manager.  Plaintiff began filming the concert.  Plaintiff alleges there were no signs prohibiting filming. Plaintiff claimed he was told to stop filming and before he could turn off the camera defendant Sarkin grabbed and assaulted him. He sought $1,000.00 in medical bills, $5,000.00 in future medical bills, $250,000.00 in non-economic damages  for mental and physical injury and punitive damages.

Defendant claims there were signs prohibiting filming at the concert and that once plaintiff began filming he was told on multiple occasions to stop. They claim that Sarkin then approached plaintiff and tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.  Plaintiff elbowed the manager in the face and was then removed from the concert by security. Defense Verdict.

Other Trials

Spencer v. TRI-MET, Multnomah County Case No. 1301-01126

Plaintiff was on a TRI-MET train heading from downtown Portland to Gresham when she and a friend were attacked by a group of teenage boys.  The train stopped at SE 82nd and the boys got off the train but were able to re-board and throw an object hitting plaintiff in the face.  Plaintiff suffered a laceration to her face, damaged teeth, and emotional injuries.  Plaintiff alleged that TRI-MET was negligent for failing to have adequate security, failing to keep the doors shut after the boys exited the train and failing to monitor the passenger compartment and notify police of the attack.  TRI-MET denied liability and argued that plaintiff herself engaged in hostile verbal and aggressive physical action with the group on the train and was therefore negligent and  caused her own injuries. Defense Verdict.

Morkert v. Bedner, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05702

Due to problems with the initial implementation of E-court, we have no information about the facts of this case except that Plaintiff sought $583,000 in damages. Verdict – $10,600.00.

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